No one can deny the joy and thrill of riding a motorcycle, but you also can’t deny the statistics that show the dangers of this activity. Whether it’s a recreation, lifestyle, your main mode of transportation or all of the above, knowing these motorcycle accident stats can help you have a safer ride in California.
Less driving but more accidents
2020 saw a spike in fatal motorcycle accidents. There was a 9% increase from the previous year even though people were driving about 13% fewer miles in 2019. This shows how just because there aren’t as many people on the roads doesn’t necessarily make them safer for motorcyclists.
In 2017, 1,872 lives were saved because a motorcyclist was wearing a helmet. Helmets aren’t required by law everywhere you go. In fact, the U.S. has 20 states where there is a universal helmet law.
Regardless, it is highly recommended that anyone riding a motorcycle puts on a helmet. The good news on this front is that 23% more motorcyclists are now wearing helmets compared to 2002.
Types of crashes
In the majority of motorcycle crashes – 76% – the motorcycle is struck at the front. 23% of fatal motorcycle accidents result from collisions with fixed objects rather than other vehicles. Collisions from the rear and side are significantly less frequent in these types of accidents.
53% of the time, fatal motorcycle accidents involve two vehicles. In 40% of these crashes, they only involve the motorcyclist. Only 7% of these types of accidents are caused by three or more vehicles.
About 8% of 2019’s fatal motorcycle accidents involved drivers who had been drinking. Massachusetts and Rhode Island were the two states with the worst numbers of motorcycle fatalities due to illegal levels of intoxication.